National News

Infection theory could explain cause of common childhood leukaemia, says scientist

What causes cancer? If we know this then we can try to find ways to prevent it.

That’s why a review published on 21st May is important. It looks at all the evidence around a type of cancer called childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), using evidence from published studies to try and pinpoint a cause.

And the scientist behind the review, Professor Mel Greaves, an expert in childhood leukaemia at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has presented his theory, based on 30 years of work on the topic.

It’s important to say that the review only looked at childhood ALL. Because different types of cancer have different causes, these results won’t be the same for other forms of the disease.

For more information and commentary from Cancer Research UK go to their website

Learning Disability Week

This year, Learning Disability Week (18 – 24 June) will be all about health – with a big focus on the Treat me well campaign.

This year’s campaign from Mencap aims to transform how the NHS treats people with a learning disability in hospital.

Mencap want to use Learning Disability Week 2018 to spread the word about the problems people with a learning disability can face in getting good healthcare in hospital, and how we can all change this.

They want to involve NHS staff in the Treat me well campaign – giving them the chance to hear from people with a learning disability and to think about the simple changes they can make which would make a big difference to people with a learning disability.

For more information about the campaign go here

Mencap have also produced a social media pack, which you can find here

Rural housing for an ageing population: preserving independence

This inquiry established by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Care for Older People has concluded that older people’s housing is neglected in rural areas. It makes a number of ‘rural proofing’ recommendations to increase the quality, supply and range of more appropriate age-friendly housing.

You can read the briefing as an online pdf here

Funding supported housing for all

Specialised supported housing for people with a learning disability

This report from Mencap estimates that the specialised supported housing (SSH) sector is more than double the size of previous estimates and that demand for SSH is rising. The research also finds that living independently with support in the community has a positive impact on wellbeing for people with a learning disability. SSH is a housing alternative for people with complex needs who might otherwise have lived in residential care, or NHS provisions such as ‘secure’ accommodation.

You can read the report as an online pdf here

Health warning for employers: supporting older workers with health conditions

This report from the Centre for Ageing Better argues that employers are not properly supporting older workers experiencing long-term physical and mental health conditions. Health is the most important factor affecting older workers’ decisions to stop working before reaching state pension age. This research demonstrates that early access to support, small adjustments to the workplace and working patterns, and empathetic management are crucial to enabling people to manage their health at work and remain in employment.

You can read the report as an online pdf here

The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review: annual report 2017

The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review was established to support local areas to review the deaths of people with learning disabilities and improve services.

This annual report summarises the learning and recommendation from 103 reviews of deaths of people with learning disabilities during 2017.

You can find out more and download the report from the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership website here

Creative and cultural activities and wellbeing in later life

This report from Age UK outlines the importance of participating in creative and cultural activities to maintain wellbeing as we get older. The research identifies the key factors that enable participation and enjoyment of cultural activities and those that present barriers to participation.

You can read the report as an online pdf here

The hardest hit: Addressing the crisis in alcohol treatment services   

This report from Alcohol Concern highlights how severe funding cuts, rapid re-tendering cycles, loss of qualified staff and lack of political support are impacting on some of the most vulnerable people in society.  To address the issue the report sets out key recommendations on the government developing a national strategy with treatment at the heart of a broader suite of interventions; the government must plug the gap in treatment funding and reduce inequalities and there must be a nation review of balance of staffing and expertise at each point in the system.

You can read the report as an online pdf here

The independent review of the Mental Health Act: interim report

This independent review was set up to look at how the legislation in the Mental Health Act 1983 is used and how practice can improve. This interim report gives an update on the review’s findings and the areas it will look at next. It includes service user and carer surveys; focus groups; stakeholder workshops; a call for evidence; and the findings from wider discussions with organisations and professionals. The review will examine the issues as set out in the report before making its final recommendations.

You can read the report as an online pdf here

Going the distance: exercise professionals in the wider public health workforce

This report from the Royal Society for Public Health, written with ukactive, explores how fitness professionals can play an enhanced role in supporting the public’s health. It calls for GP drop-in and smoking cessation services inside gyms and leisure centres to help ease pressure on local health facilities and improve access to health improvement services.

You can read the report as an online pdf here